Reel Deal: CC is salmon city

Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Suddenly, this is the place for ocean fishing

The only problem for fishermen at the Crescent City Harbor on Wednesday was having enough space at the filet station to clean the bucket-loads of salmon that kept pouring in.

Ziploc bags full of pink dinners were methodically produced by almost any angler lucky enough to get out on the water.

"No farm-raised salmon for us!" exclaimed Alex Zubchonok as he started carving another king salmon.

Last year, sport fishermen launching from Crescent City were granted a

generous salmon season, but there was hardly any salmon to catch,

Zubchonok said.

Although salmon fishing reports on the North Coast have been good

this year, the last few days mark the first time that anything

resembling a fleet of fishing boats targeted salmon out of Crescent City

in years.

Anglers reported that droves of salmon were caught within one to two

miles west of the second buoy Wednesday, and almost every fishermen

reported catching the limits of two salmon per person.

Zubchonok's pole, equipped with a 5-inch apex, triggered the most

bites out of the gear on board with him, but the biggest fish of the

crew was a 17-pound king salmon caught by Tom Bunch. It was the first

fish of the day and the first salmon ever caught in Bunch's life.

"They're running right now," Bunch said. "Now's the time to go."

The Tally Ho II charter boat has new owners who were gearing up Wednesday to go salmon fishing today.

Craig and Bonnie Strickhouser have been learning the ropes from

previous owners Bob and Goldie Ginocchio, and the boat and business

officially switched hands last Friday.

Bonnie already answers the phone with the same, perky "Tally Ho!" that Goldie Ginocchio has honed over the years.

Craig Strickhouser was a charter fishing boat skipper throughout the

'80s in Long Beach and Oceanside before he moved to Crescent City to

work a more profitable job at Pelican Bay State Prison.

"I had to decide if I wanted to eat or drive boats," he said.

After 22 years at the prison, Strickhouser's ready to "go back to

what I love," he said. "I needed something to do to keep me out of

trouble."

Operating a charter business out of Crescent City was enticing for

the Strickhousers because there is far less fishing pressure here than

they are used to in Southern California.

"This area is almost like being back in time 50 years as far as the fishing resources," he said.

The Tally Ho's phone number hasn't changed (707-464-1236) and the Strickhousers are ready to go fishing.

Eureka ocean fishing

The salmon bite has slowed down just slightly out of Eureka. Perhaps

it's not a coincidence that the bite simultaneously picked up in

Crescent City.

Gary Blasi of Full Throttle Sport Fishing said the salmon near Eureka

are in deeper waters, contrary to most of the season thus far when

they've been found in shallow waters.

The Reel Steel charter boat caught three halibut Wednesday, including

a 52 pounder, by heading straight out from the Eureka harbor, said

Sherry Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing.

Brookings ocean fishing

Rockfish and lingcod fishing near Brookings-Harbor have been phenomenal, according to Tidewind Sportfishing.

On Wednesday, the crew netted 22 lingcod fishing with 12 people.

Catching a limit of 10 rockfish per person is a cinch, most commonly accomplished with black snappers.

Lower Klamath River

The case of the mysteriously missing Klamath River spring salmon

continues on the lower river, but steelhead trout are showing up early,

according to fishing guide Steve Huber.

The steelhead have arrived about three weeks earlier than usual, a

great sign of a strong summer steelhead season to come, Huber said.

Spring salmon reports on the Klamath have been holding steady at zero to three fish per day.

"The bite's been in the morning and evening if at all," Huber said.

"It's nothing to write home about, but there's nothing like the taste of

a springer too."

Lower Rogue River

Fishing report for the lower Rogue River from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife:

"Water conditions continue to be excellent for late season spring

chinook fishing and anglers are being rewarded with 1 to 3 fish per

boat. Bank anglers are not fairing as good, but are picking up the

occasional fish. Anglers have not started trolling the bay because

fishing up river has been so good. As water temperatures begin to climb,

anglers will want to move to the Rogue Estuary and start looking for

those first fall chinook.

"Summer steelhead have been moving up river, but there is very little

fishing pressure. Most of the steelhead are being caught by spring

chinook anglers.

"The surf perch bite in the lower Rogue Bay has slowed. Perch fishing

should pick up when the weather warm ups. Most of the fishing pressure

is on the south side where a sand spit has formed and provides great

bank access."

Shelter Cove

Larger salmon have accompanied fishermen pulling their boats into Shelter Cover, according to Russ Thomas of Mario's Marina.

Several 30- to 20-pound king salmon were caught over the weekend, and more people are reeling in halibut as well.

Anglers who targeted tuna came back empty-handed, Thomas said.

Fishing guide contacts:

Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Full Throttle Sportfishing at

707-498-7473; Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925; Tidewind

Sportfishing at 541-469-0337; Steve Huber Guide Service at 530-623-1918.

Reach Adam Spencer at aspencer@triplicate.com .

14030138
The Del Norte Triplicate
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